By Annette P. Gomes Army Recovery Care ProgramJanuary 29, 2020
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Growing up in Kingston, Jamaica, Master Sgt. Jason Rodney says there's one childhood vision that prominently stood out among the rest; seeing his father in uniform as a young boy.
"My father was a soldier in the Jamaican Defense Force and I think that vision (of him in uniform) initially inspired my desire to become a Soldier."
The chemical specialist has served for over 20 years. His career was derailed when he tore the labrum in his shoulder and had ankle surgery to repair damage from previous injuries, resulting in him entering the Army Recovery Care Program in April of 2018. He was assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion, Fort Bragg, North Carolina to heal, recover, and prepare for the next chapter of his life -- retirement.
"The thought of retirement was bittersweet, more sweet than bitter though. I've met a lot of amazing people and created a few unbreakable friendships during my time in the Army, so I'll really miss that," Rodney said. "It was an honor," he added.
During his time at Fort Bragg, Rodney says the WTB genuinely cared for him, his family and his well-being. "My family endured a lot over the past 21 years including five deployments. I can't get that time back, but I can enjoy our time together moving forward. I get to do a lot of little things with them that I wasn't able to before."
Rodney created his own recipe for success by utilizing the Soldier for Life -Transition Assistance Program, or SFL-TAP. The Program provides Soldiers with counseling, seminars, and employment and education workshops, in an effort to help them transition to civilian life. As a result, Rodney recently secured a job with a major airline.
"Master Sgt. Rodney definitely put the time and effort in to get the job he desired," said Lisa Ordukaya, Transition Coordinator at the Fort Bragg WTB. "I believe his biggest asset is networking and that's key. We helped him with his resume and interviewing skills. He was very focused on moving forward and it shows."
Although networking played a major role in Rodney securing a job, he says it's the values he learned in the military and a lesson his own family lives by that made his journey special.
"I think being able to adapt to different situations and environments is important. I also believe dedication, time management, being detail oriented and commitment are a few things that I believe helped prepare me for life after the military," said Rodney. "If you take those qualities, along with my family's motto: 'If you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together,' you will be destined for greatness."
The Warrior Care and Transition Program is now the Army Recovery Care Program. Although the name has changed, the mission remains the same: to provide quality complex case management to the Army's wounded, ill and injured Soldiers.